Apr 23, 2014

Weekly Frum Publications: Are We Better Off Now?

Mishpacha magazine recently published their 500th issue.  This led to thoughts and comments about what life was like, not that long ago, without all these weekly frum newspapers and magazines.  Like cell phone usage, it's hard to remember life prior to this burst of frum literary output. 

What did people read? What did I read?

People read the Jewish Press and there was the Jewish Observer which was published 10 times a year.  Not much else in frum media.  The Jewish Homemaker from the OK, Jewish Action from the OU four times a year.  No weekly magazines.

Now we are flooded (if we choose to read them) by articles with biographies, profiles of interesting Jews from all walks of life, stories of baalei teshuva and kiruv, news from a frum perspective, and lots and lots and lots of articles and first person accounts about poor mental health, about our foibles and worse.

A strong reaction from someone, to a comment about Mishpacha's 500th issue, was we were better off without it (and all the other publications).  Yet this person reads and enjoys Mishpacha magazine! I don't think they mind all the beautiful articles about special people; it's the relentless focus on what ails us, all the kookiness among us, the aim to be "honest" and "courageous" and the insistence that the mental health profession has the answers.

Am I more uplifted when I read it?
Am I more frustrated?

to be continued

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